Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drive to Torres Del Paines (Chile)

With not much sleep in my four man hostel room (won't do that again), I awoke to get ready to catch the shuttle down to Torres Del Paines National Park in Chile to start our trekking adventure. In the lobby, I met most of the rest of the 12 member group-a very diverse group indeed with representation from Mexico, London, US, Austria, Spain, Poland and Australia!

We boarded the bus and started the four hour drive to the National Park with an immigration inspection and lunch at the boarder. As we got closer to the National Park, we got our first views of the Torres-an incredible mountain range with the bluest lake I have ever seen in my life. The wind was blowing so hard, it was difficult to stand up straight for pictures!

As be boarded the bus, our tour guides treated us to a little Erykah Badu up on the MP3 joint and we bounced into the National Park after paying the $15,000 Chilean paso entrance fee (about $26 US).

After passing the National Park check point, we saw our first guanaco, an animal closely related to the lama as well as some flamingos and some incredible landscapes. We arrived at our first day hike site, but it was pouring rain, so our guide thought it would be better to just go to the camp site and get set up.

The camp site was not what I was picturing. We did sleep in tents, but the facilities were awesome with clean bathrooms, hot showers, a gift shop and full service restaurant. I was able to buy a sweet camping rain jacket for the trip at the gift shop for only $40 US and we all got settled in with our first meal together at the park. Check out all of the pictures for our drive down to Torres Del Paines at:

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